Friday, August 22, 2008

Quick hitters:: Le Switch

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Le Switch is not really a name that jumps of the page at you. It's like one of those celeb baby names like Apple or Zuma... it kind of makes you want to hate whatever it is attached to, without even knowing why.

And that's unfortunate, because in the case of the LA band the name doesn't fit the mixed bag the band delivers. It doesn't make you think of horns blasting through tracks, making it impossible to sink into the depression that plagues Aaron Kyle's pen. It definitely doesn't prepare you for breezy trip back to the 70's, a time where music seemed free and unpretentious. And most importantly, it doesn't reflect for a band a old, salty bastard like myself would enjoy.

Truth be told, if the record wasn't being released on Autumn Tone I would have left the download link in the ole trash folder for a few weeks before gmail returned it to the earth. But given the label's history, I quickly gave it a dry run and the 11-song gem was full of pleasant surprises. And Now... Le Switch is a terrific summer record; horns, energy, sing-alongs mixed with just enough misery and pain to help you get through the inevitable chill in the air when the summer romance and sunny days start to die. It's impossible to hear Pristine or Give Me Something and not perk up.

But dubbing this a release a summer record would be one of those back-handed compliments, leaving you thinking it's light, effortless, and fleeting. Honestly, And Now…Le Switch is anything but. The songs may grab your ears on a casual listen, but the depth and grit (as Kyle's gravelly delivery on Country Song and Smiles Away) the tracks offer keep you coming back. Dazzling piano and woo -oh oohs complete Hard Talkin', organ and horns spruce up the emotional Smiles Away, and Simple Gifts hits with the power of a Van Morrison track. They can slow it down, like they do on the soulful Morning Of or shuffle everyone to the back porch with a rollicking, twang filled track like Big Ol' Tree. I'm not sure what else you need in a record?

Posted at 1:25 PM by ack :: 0 comments

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